Warning: if you delete your Facebook application, you might also delete the links added through it!
— Usability —
U01 What is a caption, message, etc?
Take a look at the screen shot to get an idea of what is what.
The plugin will use the excerpt as description and when not available it will use part of the post text. If you specify a Text trailer the text will be truncated and the text trailer (for example Read more …) will be used as last words (no link, Facebook does not allow this). If you leave the text trailer blank, Facebook will show See more and if you click on it, you will see the whole post text on Facebook. The options Use site title as caption andUse excerpt as message (tab Appearance) do what they say. If you leave the excerpt blank, the site title will be used as message. This is to prevent grouping of links. See question U37 for an alternative method.
U02 Why is the option ‘Featured post image’ grayed out?
Because your current WordPress theme doesn’t support featured images.
U03 How can I display featured images as Facebook link pictures?
- Configure the plugin to use featured images
- Select a featured image in the WordPress post screen
A few notes:
- Not all WordPress themes support featured images
- You have to select a featured image before published a post
- If there is no featured image set, the WordPress icon will be used
As an alternate to feature images, you can use the Add Link to Facebook post meta box (since version 0.23). In this box you can select one of the images attached to the post. Selecting an image this way takes precedence over the other settings.
U04 To which wall will a link be added?
Always to the wall of the post author, if configured. Even if somebody else is editing the post. You can add links to pages and groups too, see question U12 and U13.
U05 Which link picture will Facebook select?
Mostly the first picture in the post, but it depends on the theme and layout of your website. You are adviced to let the plugin select an image (the default setting is to select the first image in the post).
U06 Why doesn’t Facebook display my link picture?
Maybe because the image is too small or Facebook had trouble accessing the image. Another cause could be that you disabled the Open Graph Protocol (a plugin option enabled be default).
U07 I don’t want a link picture
Facebook doesn’t support this as far as I know, but you could let the custom link picture point to a valid but non existing address.
U08 What happens when I update a post?
If the link to the post was added already to your wall, page or group, nothing, else a new link will be added. See also the next question.
U09 How can I add a link to an existing post?
Change the post status temporarily to draft, update the post and publish the post again.
U10 Will links for future posts be added?
Yes, when they are published automatically a link will be added to your wall, page or group too.
U11 How about private / password protected posts?
Don’t worry, no links to private posts will be added.
U12 I want to add links to my fan/community/business page
This option is only available after you have authorized, since information from Facebook needs to be fetched.
Just go to the plugin settings through the WordPress Tools menu and select the page you want the links to be added to using the option Add to page on the tab Page/group. Note that pages and groups exclude each other.
If the page/group you want to add links to doesn’t appear, make sure you have authorized the plugin with a personal Facebook account that has access to the page/group and that you have allowed all the permissions the plugin asked for. If you want to check the permissions, just press the authorize button on the plugin settings page again. If you want to change the Facebook account you have authorized the plugin with, see question U47.
U13 I want to add links to a group
This option is only available after you have authorized, since information from Facebook needs to be fetched.
Just go to the plugin settings through the WordPress Tools menu and check Use groupson the tab Page/group. You’ll have to re-authorize one more time, because an extra Facebook permission is required for this. Note that pages and groups exclude each other. Also note that it is only possible to add links using your personal account (a Facebook limitation). However, you can add links to pages as page owner, so consider switching to pages.
If you want to add links to a group, the Facebook account you authorized with should have permission to that group.
U14 How can I use hyperlinks on Facebook?
Since Facebook doesn’t accept HTML, all HTML is stripped from the post text and excerpt before adding a link to Facebook. This means that hyperlinks are stripped too. The hyperlink texts are preserved, however. If you want to keep hyperlinks, check the option Keep hyperlinks. The consequence is that the hyperlink texts will be stripped. So you have to choose if you want the hyperlink text (the default) or the hyperlink itself.
U15 How can I use short URL’s as Facebook link?
- Install and configure an URL shortener plugin
- URL Shortener is known to work
- Any short URL plugin that supports the filter pre_get_shortlink or get_shortlink will work
- Enable the option Use short URL
- You probably want to enable the option Use site title as caption too
U16 Can I add links to pages?
Yes, just check the option Add links for new pages (settings tab Misc.).
U17 Why is the option “add ‘Share’ link” experimental?
For two reasons:
- The Facebook interface for this feature is undocumented
- Sharing works, but Facebook doesn’t handle it correctly (discussion, bug report)
U18 How can I translate the plugin?
You can use the Dutch translation as a start. After saving the file, you can translate it by using a text editor or Poedit. See here for details on plural forms. Another way is to install and use the Codestyling Localization plugin. Please use this contact form to send me the new .po file.
U20 How can I setup one wall for all users?
An administrator can setup his wall (personal/page/group) for all users of one site by checking the option Share with all users on this site. Other users cannot configure their own wall anymore, if this option is used. Only the same administrator can undo this.
U21 I don’t see a link to my post on Facebook
Assuming that you have configured and authorize the plugin, you can check this:
- Is the wall of the post author configured? See also question U4 and U20.
- Has the post author the configured minimum capability? (default edit_posts)
- Is Do not add link to Facebook un-checked?
- Is the post password protected? See also question U11.
- Was the post published before using the plugin? See also question U09.
- Was there already a link added? See also question U09.
- Are you logged into the correct Facebook account?
- Are you looking at the correct personal/page/group wall/profile?
- Do the privacy options allow viewing the link?
- Make sure sandbox mode is not enabled in the Facebook application (most common problem)
Note that each WordPress user (author) should authorize the plugin, unless you check the option Share with all users on this site in the Easy setup section.
See also question U41.
U22 Where are the settings of the plugin?
In the WordPress menu Tools. Note that if you checked the option Share with all users on this site, only the adminstrator that checked this option can access the settings. If you cannot access the other administrator account for some reason, add these lines of code to the end of the file add-link-to-facebook-class.php (before
if (is_multisite()) delete_site_option(c_al2fb_option_app_share); else delete_option(c_al2fb_option_app_share);
This code resets the option Share with all users on this site.
To reset the option Required capability to use plugin, you can add this:
U23 How can I use the shortcodes?
Example to show liker names:
- [al2fb_likers post_id=”123″]
If you want to use shortcodes in a (text) widget, you should enable the option Execute shortcodes in widgets.
U24 How can I use the template tags?
- if (function_exists(‘al2fb_likers’)) al2fb_likers();
- if (function_exists(‘al2fb_likers’)) al2fb_likers(123);
U25 Can I add links to multiple walls?
This feature was available in the Pro version of the plugin.
U26 Why doesn’t the like button show all likes? Why are liker names not displayed?
The option Show likers below the post text shows the names of the people that liked thelink the plugin added on Facebook. The like button on your website is a standard Facebook like button which is not connected to the link added by the plugin (in fact there may not even have been added a link). The like button is connected to the post(page) on which it is displayed. Unfortunately there is no way to connect the likes of thelink to the post and the likes of the post, since Facebook consider these as different objects.
U27 I want pink links! 😉
How, when and where links, comments, etc appear on your wall/page/group is entirely determined by Facebook. Only a few link properties can be set by the plugin. See here for the official documentation.
The social plugins, such as the like box, comments plugin and activity feed, seem to be part of your website, but in reality these plugins run on Facebook. This means the appearance and behavior of these plugins can only be changed by Facebook.
U28 Can I display the widget / social plugins on every page?
Yes, enable the widget option Show everywhere using my settings
U29 How can I use the Facebook registration form/login button?
First read the previous question and this documentation for some background information.
- Create a page and add the shortcode [al2fb_registration] to it; this is the registration page
- Add a (text) widget to for example your side bar
- Add the shortcode [al2fb_login post_id=”xxx”] to the widget; replace xxx by the page number of the registration page
- Let the plugin option Login registration URL point to your registration page
- Enable the plugin option Execute shortcodes in widgets
- Enable the WordPress option General > Membership > Anyone can register
Optionally create a landing page for logged in users and set the plugin option Login redirect URL to it.
Note that the registration form and login button are not shown when you are logged in. The registration form is also not shown if users cannot register.
Advanced use: you can set what to display when a user has logged in using the optionText or HTML when logged in (default behavior is to display nothing). It is possible to use shortcodes, for example defined using the Shortcode Exec PHP plugin. Stein Ivar Johnsen developed the following shortcode to display a little welcome message along with the first name and avatar of the logged in user:
global $current_user; wp_get_current_user(); echo '<p>Welcome <br />' . $current_user->user_firstname . '<br />'; echo '<div id="avatar">' . get_avatar($current_user->user_email, 32) . '</div>'; echo '<a href="' . admin_url('profile.php') . '">Profile</a><br />'; echo '<a href="' . wp_logout_url(home_url()) . '">Logout</a></p>';
Question E22 describes possible errors for the Facebook registration form / login button.
U31 Can I change/remove ‘xxx seconds ago via …’?
No, this can’t be removed or changed for automatically added links, see also question U27. The only thing that can be changed is the Facebook application name after ‘via’.
U32 Is video supported?
From version 1.149.1 you can set a video URL in the post editor. Please note that the URL must link directly to the video and not to a page that displays the video.
U33 The like/send button doesn’t look/behave as I want
The plugin just adds the standard Facebook like/send button. Facebook doesn’t allow any change to the like/send button, except for a very few things. The most important thing that can be controlled is the link the like button is associated with. The default is the current post and page, which is almost always what you want. Likes for this post or page are counted.
U34 How do I prevent adding links for special post types?
Some plugins use custom post types to store information, for example some contact forms and twitter plugins. For these custom post types a link will be added to Facebook too. Sometimes this is desirable and sometimes not. If this is not wanted, you will have to find out the name(s) of the custom post types and to put them into the plugin optionExclude these custom post types (admin only). The author of the plugin will probably know the name(s), else you will have to look into the source code or database. The custom post types for the last 10 posts are visible in the debug information (see last question).
U35 The link picture is wrong
First check if the Open Graph Protocol is enabled (plugin settings tab Common). Next check if the option Link picture (tab Picture) is set correctly. The default First image in the post is mostly what you want. If you want to use a featured image as link picture, see question U02 and U03.
U36 The privacy option is not working
You cannot add links with less privacy as specified in the Facebook application settings. To change this: Privacy Settings (right top triangle) > Ads, Apps and Websites > Apps you use > Edit Settings (button) > Edit (link) > Posts on your behalf. The privacy option doesn’t work if you use the option Use links API instead of feed API.
U37 I don’t want my links grouped on the timeline
Enabling the option Use excerpt as message will prevent grouping of links. If you don’t write an excerpt the site title will be used as message. You can also enable the optionUse links API instead of feed API (tab Admin). The links API does not work for groups (a Facebook bug). See the previous question for another limitation.
Due to a Facebook bug the links API will not work for groups
U38 I see HTML / shortcodes on Facebook
Try disabling one of these options on the plugin settings tab Admin:
- Do not execute shortcodes for texts
- Do not execute filters for texts
but be sure to check if everything still looks and works as should, because these options are known to be incompatible with some plugins.
U39 Why are comments are not imported?
First check if the setting Integrate comments from Facebook on the plugin settings tabComments is enabled (each author should enable this individually). It could be that your theme is incompatible with this feature. Switch back to the default theme (Twenty Ten/Eleven), wait at least 10 minutes (because of caching) and then refresh the post page where you expect Facebook comments. Please note that only comments on links added by the plugin are imported (the link is the anchor) and only as native comments. Another potential problem are the privacy settings of the Facebook account that was used to comment on Facebook. Try writing a comment with another Facebook account.
For posts with comments disabled or which are excluded based on the settings tab admin or in the post editor, no comments will be imported. To prevent problems with Facebook, only comments for young posts are imported (less than a week old).
Comments are not imported for the Facebook comments plugin
See also question U27.
U40 I don’t see pictures in the messages widget
The messages widget only imports status updates, not links with pictures. Consider using the activity feed instead.
U41 Added links do not show up in the news feed
Read Your Average Facebook Post Only Reaches 12% Of Your Friends to understand why.
Added links are often not visible on your own timeline too.
U42 I want to edit/moderate imported Facebook comments
Enable these options:
- Integrate comments from Facebook (plugin)
- Copy comments from Facebook to WordPress (plugin)
- Do not execute filters for comments (plugin)
- An administrator must always approve the comment (WordPress)
U43 There is no share link (anymore)
Thank Facebook for this. You might be able to fix it by switching to the links API, but read about the limitations in question U37.
U44 The option ‘Picture size sent to Facebook’ does not work
Facebook only shows thumbnails for link pictures (see also question U27). This option exists only to solve aspect ratio problems in some case.
U45 I don’t see the ‘Create a New App’ button
You are probably using a non-personal Facebook account type. Try to login with a personal Facebook account that has access to the page you want to add links to.
U46 My website gets slow
If you enabled comment integration: try increasing the refresh/cache time (optionRefresh Facebook comments every, settings tab Admin) or try decreasing the number of posts to import comments for (option Refresh Facebook comments for) or try enabling the option Refresh Facebook comments in the background.
This plugin does require some memory and processor cycles, maybe more than your hosting provider provides, so consider contacting your hosting provider for an upgrade or switching to another hosting provider.
U47 How can I authorize the plugin with another Facebook account?
Just remove the Facebook App ID & Secret from the Easy setup section on the plugin settings page and follow the setup guide again.
— Security —
X01 Which users can use this plugin?
Users with the edit_posts capability: all user roles, except subscriber. Since version 0.11 administrators can change this using the setting Required capability to use plugin.
— Compatibility —
C01 Is this plugin compatible with my theme?
Most likely yes, but featured images can only be used as link picture when your theme supports this. See also the next question.
C02 Is this plugin compatible with plugin xxx?
The question is more: is plugin (or theme) xxx written in a compatible way. I have looked dozens of times to other plugins (and themes), mostly with the conclusion that the plugin doesn’t behave as it should. For example by adding pictures or altering textsafter a post have been published. Because of this I don’t give support on compatibility with other plugins and themes anymore. You should contact the author of the other plugin or theme. The author of the other plugin or theme is free to contact me if needed.
C03 Are shortcodes being processed?
This is an option, when enabled shortcodes will be processed. This option is disabled by default, because not all plugins are compatible with it, especially forum software.
C04 Are multi-user and network sites supported?
Yes, each user can configure his/her own wall, page or group. The same user can setup the plugin multiple times for multiple sites.
C05 Is remote publishing supported?
Yes, via both XML-RPC and the Atom Publishing Protocol. So you can use for example an Android or iOS powered device (XML-RPC) or Window Live Writer (Atom) or BloGTKor Blogilo for Linux to publish posts and still have links added to your wall or page automatically. Don’t forget to enable remote publishing using the WordPress menuSettings > Writing.
C06 Are custom post types supported?
Yes, but the custom post type should support custom values for it to work.
C07 How can I use an image of NextGEN Gallery as link picture?
Assuming that you embed a NextGEN Gallery into a post, set the option Link Picture toFirst image in the post. Disable the option Do not execute filters for texts, but take care to check if this doesn’t result in compatibility problems with other plugins. Also enable the option Do not execute shortcodes for texts. Please note that changes in NextGEN may cause this not to work anymore, see also question C02.
— Error messages —
E01 I get ‘Error validating application’
You have probably entered a wrong App ID or the Facebook application may be deleted. If you didn’t create a Facebook application yet, you should follow the instructions in the yellow box on the plugin page.
E02 I get ‘Error validating client secret’
You have probably entered a wrong App Secret.
E03 I get ‘Invalid redirect_uri: Given URL is not allowed by the Application configuration’
You have most probably skipped the settings part of step 2 of the Setup guide.
E04 I get ‘The user hasn’t authorized the application to perform this action’
The plugin has not been granted all Facebook permissions required, authorize the plugin again. If you are trying to add links to a page you do not administer, you need to acquire the permission manage_pages, see the setup guide.
E05 I get ‘Invalid access token signature’
You have probably reset the App Secret. You should re-enter it.
E06 I get ‘Error validating verification code’
Your WordPress installation is probably configured incorrectly. In most cases there is a second colon in the site URL that shouldn’t be there. See here for how to change your WordPress configuration.
E07 I get ‘This API call requires a valid app_id’
You could try to re-authorize to fix this, but it should not happen.
E08 I get ‘An active access token must be used to query information about the current user’
Should not happen.
E09 I get ‘Invalid access token signature’
You have probably entered an access token manually, but incomplete or with extra characters.
E10 I get ‘Your server may not allow external connections’
E11 I get ‘cURL error …’
cURL errors are almost always caused by internet connection problems. For most cURL errors you need support from your hosting provider.
Recent versions of the plugin report cURL errors encountered while importing Facebook comments and likes too: Import comment: cURL error … and Add comment: cURL error …These error messages will be removed automatically after a next successful import for the same post/page. If these errors appear now and then, don’t worry about them. This just means the internet connection from your hosting server isn’t perfect. If this happens frequently and Facebook comments and likes are not imported at all because of these errors, it is time to contact your hosting provider.
cURL errors commonly reported:
- Error 0: cURL may not be installed or functioning correctly or there may be no internet connection
- Error 1: The URL you passed to libcurl used a protocol that this libcurl does not support: the hosting server may not support secure connections (https)
- Error 6: Couldn’t resolve host: the DNS of the hosting server may not work correct
- Error 7: Failed to connect() to host or proxy: the hosting server is probably not allowing connections to the internet
- Error 28: Operation timeout: hopefully temporarily no internet available on the hosting server, you can try to increase the setting Facebook communication timeout
- Error 47: Maximum redirects followed: update to version 1.149+
- Error 56: Failure with receiving network data: this error may be caused by using a CDN or caching solutions like CloudFare
- Error 60: Peer certificate cannot be authenticated with known CA certificates: the security certificates on the hosting server could be missing or outdated, try enabling the option Use bundled CA certificates or as a last resort Do not verify the peer’s certificate(settings tab Admin), but be aware this is less secure
- Error 77: Problem with reading the SSL CA cert: the certificate files on the hosting server are not accessible or missing
You can find all cURL error codes on the libcurl error page.
E12 I get ‘HTTP 400 Bad Request’
You are probably using Microsoft Internet Explorer. This browser has the bad habit not to display the content when there is an HTTP error. Actually you are most probably having one of the above errors, but you cannot see which one. You could temporarily switch to Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
E14 I get ‘(#100) Invalid parameter’
You may have deleted a link on Facebook that was added by the plugin and also tried to delete it using the plugin. See question E19 for how to remove the error message and question U09 for how to add a link for an existing post.
You might need to manually remove the link information of the plugin. On the post edit page click Screen Options (upper right) and tick Custom fields. Scroll down to the meta box Custom fields and delete the value al2fb_facebook_link_id.
You can prevent this problem by deleting the link using the plugin.
E15a I get ‘Error validating access token’
Most often this happen when you changed your Facebook password. The access token the plugin acquired during the authorization process may be revoked by Facebook. Maybe because there was a security problem with your Facebook application or account. Re-authorizing will probably solve this problem.
E15b I get ‘Error invalidating access token’
This problem is probably caused by Facebook and applies at least to multi-sites using the same application for each site. A workaround might be to use a different application for each site.
See here for progress on this problem.
E16 I get ‘You failed to provide a valid list of administators’
This message occurs when clicking on the like button. The like button probably points to a page without Open Graph Protocol meta tags. If you didn’t enable the Open Graph Protocol try to enable it. If you have set the option Link to, make sure this page has Open Graph Protocol meta tags. If this option is not set (the default) the like button points to the post or page. Note that the plugin cannot create the meta tags for pages with more than one post (for example the home page, categories and archives). The plugin is only able to determine the correct Facebook application for posts and pages, because it needs to know an author for this. You can use the URL Linter to see if there are valid meta tags.
E17 I get ‘Error finding the requested story’
The plugin tried to add a WordPress comment to an added link on Facebook, but the link does not exist anymore. To prevent this message in the future, you should delete the link from WordPress too. While deleting, you will probably get the error described in question E14 too.
E18 I get ‘Missing redirect_uri parameter’
It could be that you have filled something wrong into the field App ID. This field should contain only digits.
E19 How can I remove error messages?
The first thing you should try is to simply update the post(s) using the WordPress update button. The plugin will add a link to the post if it didn’t already do that and remove the error message in the process. You can also tick the checkbox Clear error messages in the post submit box, near the update button. In this way you can clear the error message without adding a link to Facebook (you’ll probably want to check Do not add link to Facebook too in this case). Since version 1.163 you can clear all errors for the current user using an option in the settings tab ‘Misc’.
E20 I get ‘Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user has changed the password’
Authorizing the plugin again will most probably solve this problem.
E21 I get ‘failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found’
Your hosting server probably doesn’t have the software installed or it isn’t configured correctly to make a (secure) connection to the internet. Ask your provider to install and configure cURL.
E22 What errors can occur during Facebook registration and login?
- Facebook registration failed: the data Facebook sent could not be decoded
- User registration disabled: WordPress option General > Membership > Anyone can register is disabled
- Facebook e-mail address missing: Facebook didn’t sent an e-mail address while registering
- E-mail address in use: e-mail addresses must be unique for WordPress users
- Facebook user ID missing: Facebook didn’t sent an user ID while logging in
- User not found: no WordPress user with the ID Facebook sent was found (user not registered?)
- Could not verify Facebook login: Facebook user profile could not be retrieved (could be transient, so try again)
- WordPress user registration errors, most notably This username is already registered.
E23 I get ‘The post’s links must direct to the application’s connect or canvas URL’
You are probably using an existing Facebook application. You can solve this problem by going into application settings and setting the Stream post URL security to disabled under advanced. If you are adding links to a group, try disabling the option Add ‘Share’ link.
E24 I get ‘file_get_contents … No such file or directory’
Your hosting provider does not provide cURL and file_get_contents isn’t working too. So, the plugin isn’t able to communicate to the internet. You should ask your hosting provider to install and configure cURL.
E25 I get ‘This API call requires a valid app_id’
Double check the App ID in the Easy setup section and try to authorize the plugin again.
E26 I get ‘Session has expired at unix time …’
The access token has expired for some reason. This problem can probably be solved by authorizing the plugin again.
E27 I get a blank settings page / authorizing the plugin
It could be that your hosting server is blocking things (firewall, max. execution time, etc) or that your local firewall is blocking things or that your browser is incompatible.
If you have access to your hosting server logs, check if there are error messages.
E28 I get ‘Requires extended permission: share_item’
Authorizing the plugin again is reported to solve this problem.
E29 I get ‘Subject must be a page’
This is probably because you are trying to add links to an application page. Check the pages you are adding links to on the plugin settings tab Page/group.
E30 I get ‘The url you supplied is invalid’
This is most probably caused by multiple plugins outputing the Open Graph Protocol meta tag og:url. Make sure that other plugins don’t output conflicting OGP tags.
E31 I get ‘Developer Alert: July 2013 Breaking Changes’
Just enable the Facebook app advanced option ‘July 2013 Breaking Changes’.
E32 I get ‘This link could not be posted’
See here for more information.
E33 I get ‘An unexpected error has occurred. Please retry your request later.’
See here for more information.
— Support —
S01 Where can I ask questions, report bugs and request features?
There is only support for pro users. Please reply to the activation instructions to get support.
S02 How can I send the debug information?
Only send debug information when asked for and always include a valid support forum topic link
Debug information not asked for or without valid support forum topic link will be ignored.
Go to the plugin page (via the Tools menu) and click on the link Debug information in the right yellow Resources panel. Fill in your name, your e-mail address, a link to the support forum where you reported the problem before and describe the problem as accurate as possible and press the Send button.
If your problem concerns a post, please include the title of the post in the message. Please note that the debug information only contains information about the last 10 posts.
The debug information sometimes doesn’t arrive, therefore it isn’t a bad idea to let me know on the forum you did send it.